July 27, 2015

Win Free Bee Stuff

Are you on Facebook, too? If so PLS help me win honey jars. Look for this photo on Blue Sky Bee Supply's Facebook page and LIKE it. The photo with the most likes wins a case of glass jars, the kind that award-winning bees deserve for their honey. I'm behind by 25 likes!

WIN FREE BEE STUFF. If I win 1st or 2nd place, I'll pick one of my Facebook likers to win this jar of honey. So help me win bee stuff and YOU could win bee stuff.

This contest ends 8/1 so head on over to Facebook and like my photo. Thanks and Good Luck!

July 20, 2015

Rendering Beeswax in a Homemade Solar Wax Melter

We have two solar wax melters, both styrofoam coolers that we're keeping out of the landfill. The small one is for white wax, which we typically only have in small amounts. The big one gets a bit hotter and works better for old brood combs, which are notoriously difficult to get the wax out of even during one of our relentlessly sunny Colorado days. The chamber of commerce likes to brag about our 300+ sunny days, but what they don't mention is that you fry in our rarified air and the mile high altitude kills you with UV radiation. There are no shade trees to escape the sun because a) we only get 14" of rain a year here in the "subalpine desert" and b) the few that do manage to eke out a living have their tops snapped off by winter storms. But I digress. I shouldn't complain because unrelenting sun is what makes solar melters work. But wouldn't you know it? There've been clouds on the days I've been able to set the melters out and the yield's been like pulling teeth. If you don't see a sharp shadow it won't work, even if it's 98°F. Beeswax melts at about 145°F so you need the sun to power what is essentially a solar oven.

Tips for Success… after the jump.
Sometimes the wax forms interesting shapes and sometimes it's a flat disk. It depends on how hot the water in the catch pan is.